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Experienced Florida Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), more than 1.5 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. The CDC also tells us that more than 50,000 people in the U.S. die from a traumatic brain injury every year, and nearly 100,000 become severely disabled.
If you or a loved one got in an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, you could be eligible for serious compensation. Unfortunately, insurance companies often attempt to brush over TBI cases, providing small settlements that don’t come close to covering the true costs of these kinds of injuries. This is why you’ll likely want to hire an experienced accident attorney– someone who can navigate the legal system and negotiate with insurance companies to help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
While obtaining a qualified attorney is a great first step, the more you know about traumatic brain injuries, the more equipped you’ll be to fight for your legal rights.
On this page, we’ll answer questions including:
- How do I know if I’ve had a traumatic brain injury?
- What should I do after an accident that leads to a traumatic brain injury?
- What are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries?
- Who is liable in traumatic brain injury cases?
- How can an attorney help me get compensation?
How Do I Know If I’ve had a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Unfortunately, unlike exterior injuries, such as cuts or bruises, traumatic brain injuries can be difficult to spot and diagnose, as they are internal in nature. In addition, some TBI symptoms only appear in the days, weeks, and months after the initial injury took place, making it hard to determine if a symptom is the result of a TBI or another medical condition.
This is one of the reasons why it’s essential to get immediate (and continuing) medical care after any accidents that could have resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Not only will this ensure you get the best possible care, but medical records from your appointments can provide the evidence you need to get fair compensation for your injuries.
If you experience any of the below symptoms in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks following an accident, you may be experiencing a traumatic brain injury:
- Sleeping problems
- Inability to wake up
- Hearing problems
- Concentration issues
- Weakness or numbness in the limbs
- Mood swings
- Confusion, agitation, or restlessness
- Enlarged pupils
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Severe headaches
- Coordination problems
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What Should I Do After An Accident That Leads to A Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries can occur due to a variety of accident types, including car, truck, boat, and motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls, and sports-related injuries.
If you or someone you love has gotten in an accident, particularly if a head injury is involved, call 911 immediately. After ensuring everyone is safe, you will also want to speak to an attorney as quickly as possible. Everything you say and do in the aftermath of an accident (including interactions with law enforcement and insurance companies) can impact the compensation amount you may receive as a result of settlement negotiations or a jury trial.
In addition to calling a lawyer and the proper medical or law enforcement authorities, you may want to follow the below guidelines after an accident:
- Don’t Incriminate Yourself: It’s crucial to avoid “self-incrimination” by apologizing to another party or an insurance company at an accident scene, as this could be used as evidence against you later on.
- Don’t Sign Anything: In many cases, insurance companies, doctors, or hospitals will attempt to induce you to sign settlement papers directly after an accident. This is always a bad idea, as the settlements offered are typically quite small. In addition, accepting a settlement at this point could prevent you from fighting for a larger settlement later.
- Be Careful With Your Insurance Company: When it comes to getting compensation for a traumatic brain injury, your insurance company is not always your friend. It’s often a good idea to speak with your lawyer first before speaking with your insurance company to avoid saying anything that could reduce your settlement amount or reduce your chances of victory if your case goes to trial.
- Document the Accident: If you are physically able, it’s often a good idea to take photos or video recordings of the accident scene, as this can serve as evidence in your case.
What are the Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Slip and falls: According to 2017 data, 49% of TBI hospitalizations resulted from slip and fall incidents. Slip and falls can impact anyone but are especially common in older adults.
- Vehicle Accidents: According to the same data, about 25% of TBI hospitalizations resulted from vehicle accidents, which can include car, truck, motorcycle, and boating accidents.
- General and Workplace Accidents: Being accidentally struck with an object, such as a falling piece of equipment or product at a factory or office, is another common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
- Violence: TBIs can result from almost any kind of violence, but they are particularly common among gunshot victims. Most gunshot-related TBIs are inflicted by others, but some are self-inflicted.
- Sports: Sports, especially contact sports, such as football, rugby, and boxing, are yet another common cause of TBIs.
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Who is Liable in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases?
When dealing with a case such as a car accident that resulted in a TBI, the liable party is often the other driver involved, especially if they were the one who caused the accident. In other types of TBI cases, however, finding the liable party can be more difficult. Some examples of liable parties for different accident types include:
- Slip and Falls: In slip and fall cases, the liable party may often be a homeowner, business, school, or event venue. If the slip and fall occurred in an eldercare facility, the facility operator owner may be liable for the incident.
- Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice is hard to prove, but when it occurs, both doctors and hospitals could be at fault. In order to prove medical malpractice, a victim must show that the doctor had a duty of care over the patient, they did not honor that duty, and that a reasonable doctor would have behaved otherwise in the same situation. If you think a medical error, such as an anesthesiologist’s error, caused a TBI, you should attempt to get your records immediately and find a new doctor who can get you tested as quickly as possible.
- Device Malfunctions: A device malfunction in a car could lead to a crash, a defective football helmet could lead to a concussion, and a defective cane could lead to a slip and fall. These are only a few examples of how device malfunctions could lead to TBIs. In most cases, the manufacturer is liable for dangerous product defects, but in other cases, the seller could be liable, especially if they knew the device could be defective.
- Trucking Companies: Trucking accidents are somewhat different than car accidents since they can involve one or more trucking companies that own or lease the truck, as well as potentially the truck driver themselves. Any or all of these parties could be liable, especially if the accident was caused by a preventable maintenance or safety issue.
How Can An Attorney Help Me Get Compensation?
A traumatic brain injury can have a serious impact on your quality of life. In many cases, TBIs can impact an accident victim’s mental health, their ability to work, and their ability to maintain healthy relationships with friends, family, and intimate partners. Fortunately, an experienced accident attorney can help reduce your stress after an accident by:
- Guiding you on what to say and do after an accident, particularly regarding your interactions with law enforcement, insurance companies, and others involved in the accident
- Organizing evidence and paperwork, such as pictures from the accident scene, medical records, and insurance claims
- Helping you determine whether it’s better to settle or take your case to court
- Negotiating on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for your injuries
If You’ve Experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury, Call Gallagher and Hagopian Today
If you or someone you love has experienced a traumatic brain injury in Bradenton or Sarasota, Gallagher and Hagopian are here to help. Our team of expert attorneys and accident specialists has obtained more than $100 million for our clients and we are ready to take your call today.
We understand how difficult life can be after a TBI, and while we can’t change the past, we will do everything in our power to help you get the compensation you need to heal and get your life back on track.
Whether you were injured in a car or truck accident,
a slip and fall, or as a result of medical malpractice, our experienced attorneys understand the ins and outs of the legal system and are ready to fight for your rights. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.